New Delhi: The odd-even car rationing scheme will be rolled out in Delhi for five days from November 13 as part of a graded response plan to tackle the alarming level of pollution in the city, the state government announced on Thursday.
The scheme will be in place from 8 am to 8 pm and there will be exemption for women drivers, two-wheelers and vehicles carrying children in school uniforms, besides VVIPs, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said.
"The exemptions will be similar as last year and there is no need for people to panic," he told reporters, adding that CNG vehicles having valid stickers would be exempt.
The minister said the Delhi government would not allow cab-aggregators to resort to surge pricing during the period in Delhi.
"I have called a meeting with representatives of Ola and Uber tomorrow to ensure that there is no surge pricing during the odd-even," Gahlot said.
Under the policy, private vehicles are allowed to run based on the last number of their licence plates. Odd-numbered cars are allowed to run on odd dates while even-numbered cars can only run on even dates.
In 2016, the scheme was enforced twice -- January 1-15 and April 15-30.
A pollution emergency prevailed in the national capital for the third straight day on Thursday as a toxic cloud of smog kept the city shrouded, a situation which is likely to persist for another 48 hours.
The minister also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call a meeting of chief ministers of Delhi and adjoining states to find a solution to the crisis.
According to the government, vehicles of President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Governors, Chief Justice of India, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Union Ministers, Leaders of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, and SPG protectees among others will be exempt.
Embassy vehicles will not come under odd-even rules. However, the Delhi government has not given any exemption to its ministers, including the chief minister.
Women only vehicles -- including children of age up to 12 years travelling with them -- will be exempted. Vehicles driven or occupied by handicapped persons will also be exempt.
Also, commercial vehicles, bearing yellow number plates, will not come under the car-rationing scheme.
Motorists will have to cough up Rs 2,000 for violating odd-even rules. Teams of Delhi Police, transport department and sub-divisional magistrates will be deployed to ensure
strict implementation of the car-rationing scheme.
The Delhi government has directed DTC to hire 500 buses from private contractors to tackle the rush of commuters during the odd-even week.
"Delhi Metro has also promised to provide 100 small buses during the period. Schools will be free to provide their buses voluntarily. However, there will be no compulsion," Gahlot said.
CNG vehicles will be exempt but will need to have stickers in place. These will be available at 22 IGL stations across Delhi from 2 pm on Friday.
"The old stickers which were issued in the last edition of odd-even will be valid too," the minister said.
Sources said that around 5,000 civil defence volunteers will be deployed to manage the vehicles, adding that around 400 ex-servicemen will also hired to execute the scheme.